Publication Details

Cusick, A. (2015). Research training as occupational socialization: Doing research and becoming researchers. Asian Social Science, 11 (2), 252-261.


Social science research training is de-facto occupational socialisation to researcher-roles. To do research, trainees need to develop and demonstrate advanced scholarship that complies with disciplinary norms and perform tasks to pre-determined standards. Functionalist approaches to occupational socialization underpin the performative and standardised approach to research training common in universities. But there is more to research training than doing research. If truly successful, trainees will become researchers. They will take on the researcher-role and make it their own. Interpretive approaches to occupational socialization help illuminate intra- and inter-personal dimensions of role-taking and role-making, however this approach is rarely used to inform research training strategies. Occasional scholarship reveals ad-hoc application on interpretive approaches to research trainee experience (eg., "the journey") supervisor experience (eg., "emotional burden of supervision"), research training methods such as peer-learning (eg., informal or fabricated groups, research micro-climates), or research training pedagogy (eg., collaborative learning, co-production). Recently, interpretive approaches have been used to inform career-planning strategies for PhD graduates (eg., "Vitae") but this is yet to systematically inform institutional strategies for research-training. To more effectively and efficiently facilitate researcher-role development, research training should consider occupational socialization as an organizing framework, and utilize performative and interpretive approaches to role development.



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